Due to an increase in the spread of COVID-19 on the Lamoni campus, and in the interest of the health and safety of the Graceland and Lamoni community, all academic courses for the Lamoni campus will be moved entirely to a remote and synchronous learning environment beginning no later than 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 12.
Contact tracing is currently in process, and students are being isolated and quarantined per public health guidance. Students are also being reminded of the free on-campus COVID-19 testing option through Test Iowa and encouraged to take the assessment to be tested prior to leaving campus.
All students who live on campus have been given the option to complete the rest of the fall semester from their home, if they choose, and are being allowed to leave personal items in their residence hall room or campus apartment until they return in the spring. However, Graceland strongly recommends that students who have tested positive for COVID-19 complete their isolation in place before returning home.
Students currently in quarantine (those who have had contact with a COVID-positive individual but have not tested positive) will also be allowed to return home if they determine that to be the best decision for themselves and their family, but the university recommends those students complete their 14-day quarantine, even after arriving home, separate from friends and family.
Any student in isolation or quarantine who wishes to leave campus needs to coordinate their plans with Graceland’s COVID coordinator.
In addition to classes being moved to a remote format, all off-season athletic practices and workouts have been suspended, and the athletics department is assessing the remaining competitions for the current seasons. All remaining music recitals scheduled for this month have also been cancelled.
The university has informed all students and employees that it remains imperative that they continue to follow all COVID-19 health guidelines in all spaces on and off campus, and masks, social distance and the required daily health screenings will continue to be enforced. Iowa overall is seeing a large increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, so these precautions, combined with testing, are important to stop continued spread of the virus – here and once students return home.
As was announced yesterday, Graceland’s board of trustees has approved an adjustment to the Spring 2021 semester that will move spring recess from March 8-12 to March 22-26. The semester will begin Monday, Jan. 11, as originally scheduled, and the rest of the Spring 2021 calendar will remain the same.
As an added precaution, Graceland will conduct additional rounds of baseline testing for students and employees during the Spring 2021 semester and will maintain supervision of the on-campus Test Iowa site over the winter break and for the spring semester. This site provides free COVID-19 tests to Lamoni-campus students and employees who live in Iowa, and the university believes these and other easily accessible testing options will help to support the health and safety efforts of the campus community and limit spread of COVID-19.
“While I am proud of the way our Graceland community has come together during this very different and challenging semester, I also know that it wasn’t easy and there is much fatigue related to the way COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. Our decision to move to online learning for the remainder of the semester was motivated obviously by the health and safety of our campus and local community, but it was also in response to the mental and emotional needs and the overall well-being of our students, faculty and staff. We recognize that is just as important, and after we reach the finish line of this fall semester, and after a well-deserved break, I am certain our community will rally once again in the spring to live out our values of learning, wholeness and community – together.” – Graceland President Patricia H. Draves
To learn more about the actions Graceland has taken and is taking in its efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, visit graceland.edu/covid-19 and learn about our Toward Together plan.
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